View Full Version : Non-Latin Characters as Font Items?

12-09-2010, 11:48 AM
I apologize if this issue has been brought up before; I didn't see a search function anywhere.

I'm using LightWave 9.6 on a Macintosh G5 running OS 10.5.8.

I have Asian fonts installed, and I wanted to put some Hiragana on a model I'm making. But when I chose the font, and tried to paste the kana, LightWave didn't seem to want to accept non-Latin characters.

Am I doing something wrong, or is there a work-around for this?

Thank you for your time.

12-10-2010, 06:18 AM
I have no experience with Asian fonts, but one way to do it, is to export the text from illustrator or the like...as either .ai or .eps formats and import that into modeler.


12-10-2010, 11:20 AM
I just pick the Hiragana/Katakana from the font list and it works fine. I think your problem is in the COPY/PASTE part of the equation.
The hiragana/katakana characters all have western keyboard keystrokes...and they don't match up. If you switch to the Japanese font you need to know where the characters are mapped or you are in for a lot of work (like I was because I didn't know how Japanese keyboards are laid out.)
So when you paste the text into LW (I'm guessing you are pasting text into the box in the Numeric panel for text) the characters revert to whatever the first font in your font folder is. You have to select the Japanese font to switch it back again.

I'm attaching a picture. The top text entry is the word "text" in the default font on my system, the first file in the font folder, @Batang400. The lower entry is still the letters t-e-x-t, but with PH Hiragana selected. You can see that "i" is mapped to the "t" key. "Ku" is mapped to the "e" key, and "chi" is mapped to the "x" key.

Or you do as was previously mentioned and type the text in another program that will save out as EPS and bring in curve information (not text information per se.)

But some Asian fonts DO work inside of LW. They just don't play well with coming in from outside as text data.

This has come up about three times this year. Maybe a feature request or plug in called for.

12-10-2010, 06:13 PM
Here is fun thing I just found out...

Not all hiragana fonts are mapped to the keyboard the same way!


12-11-2010, 05:49 PM
Thanks all for your help.

12-11-2010, 05:58 PM
You're welcome.

I still think it may be worth a feature request. There are OS add ons that will automatically convert your hiragana to kanji and that type of thing would be nice to have available inside LW.

12-11-2010, 09:11 PM
I thought I would post a comparison of fonts in a spreadsheet.
Western Keyboard, MinnanoUtaHR, PJ Hiragana, Hiragana Regular, Frigate Katakana, LovelyCapsules, Nationalyze, Moonbeamskatakana, and Ionic Bond are shown.

The Katakana files appear to have more consistancy. Then again, I don't remember where I got these from, so it could go back to the author.

The spreadsheet was created using OpenOffice (free) but can be opened with MS Excel.

Hope this helps.

EDIT: I just opened this at work on a system and found out it doesn't package the fonts with the spreadsheet. So it's useless. I'm deleting it.

12-12-2010, 05:45 PM
One more try, I saved it out as a PDF and this seems to work.
(some random spacing/size errors it appears but it is what it is...free)

12-24-2010, 02:10 PM
I'm really having a problem with this, and finding it frustrating.

I took the suggestion of putting my kana in another program (GIMP) and saving them as an .eps file. I took that to LightWave, tried to import with the EPSF loader, and... nothing. No geometry, no error message, no nothing.

So I figured it might be the program I'd used to create the .eps file, and tried it with InkScape. Same ultimate result... nothing.

Can anyone point me to documentation on what specifically I need to do to prepare the .eps file so that LightWave will accept it?

Dexter, you mentioned a feature request... how does one initiate that?

12-24-2010, 02:19 PM
I'm going to load up GIMP and Inkskape here at work and I'll do a step by step for you.

I started to just throw out an answer but realized it's been almost two years since I touched either of these programs.

12-24-2010, 03:10 PM
Okay, I am using the Portable App version of InkSkape and it doesn't appear to give you an option as to what version of EPS you are saving out. The EPS Lightwave needs is version 8 (or earlier). Newer version contain extraneous PDF information.

I was able to load the EPS version into Illustrator and save it out. Similarly, I was able to save out a PDF which I opened with Acrobat Professional and converted it to a version 8 EPS. Both items then loaded into LW.

I don't know if the full version gives you an option to change what version you are saving out as. I also do not know if there is an OpenSource PDF editor that will do this. I have used Foxit as a reader but no editor.

Good Luck.

12-24-2010, 03:21 PM
Thanks, Dexter.

The problem is, I don't have Illustrator, and can't afford to buy it. I was hoping to just be able to save an .eps file in Inkscape or Gimp, and use that in LightWave.

Bleah. Back to the drawing board.

12-24-2010, 04:38 PM
Depending on how many you have, I can convert them for you and send them back.

12-25-2010, 02:47 AM
Another thought.
You can use a computer that has Illustrator installed at Kinko's. If there is one near you. You have to pay by the minute and the design stations cost more than the standard stations. But it is cheaper than buying Illustrator in the short run.

Did you give up on trying to get the kana to work in LW natively?

12-25-2010, 02:10 PM
Just a guess......create the fonts in blender then export??


12-25-2010, 10:29 PM
Thanks for the offer, Dexter, but there's no paycheck riding on it, and in things I'm doing for pleasure, I prefer to be self-sufficient.

That said, I have to say that I find the text-handling capabilities in LightWave 9.6 to be disappointing in general. There's no ability to align text to a path, for instance, and it also seems to have severe problems with shadow and outlined fonts. I shouldn't have to keep monkeying around with third-party programs to get the text I want into LightWave... and apparently I'm not the only one who has had problems with non-Latin characters.


12-25-2010, 10:52 PM
No, you certainly aren't the only one. And even if I have Hiragana and Katakana working there still isn't a good way to get kanji in that I am aware of.

The shadowed outline fonts are tricky because technically the shadow is the face. So LW treats them correctly technically (I think) but it isn't intuitive to how we think it should work. I usually shuffle characters around manually. Although you can do some neat stuff with the Spline Guide tool. If you haven't played with that it could be worth trying.

Good Luck.